Pink Climbing Rose for container growing


Hi there,
I’m planning to plant a pink climbing rose in a flower box with trellis outdoor (around 70inch in heights). I live in Markham Ontario so it’s zone 6a. I prefer large bloom size with light fragrance. Could you recommend any some types of rose?
Thank you


Dear gardener, thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your question.

Growing roses in containers is difficult because of their long, shallow roots. However, there are some varieties that thrive in containers.

In order to offer you some advice, I went to specialist rose sights rather than University extensions. When it comes to advice on roses, I strongly believe in experts who have been growing roses themselves for decades.

For roses to thrive, there are a number of variables to consider. The size of the container, drainage, and at least six hours of direct sun is very important. And so is the variety you choose.

Size of container for a climbing rose. Online, you can find many suggestions, but the bottom line seems to be the bigger and deeper the container, the better, and ensure that the container has good drainage. Roses need to be watered often (daily in the middle of the summer), but they do not like sitting with their roots in water.

The rose experts at David Austin Roses website recommend a pot that it is at least 60cm wide and deep with approximately 100 litres of compost. This website also offer directions on planting roses in containers.

Heirloom Roses, that has a great video on how to plant roses in containers, with a very significant number of viewers, suggest that the minimum size for a container is 2 feet wide by 2 feet deep (about 60 litres). He also suggests a light potting soil mix for the container.

Which variety of climbing rose to choose, that will thrive in a container, is more difficult. It really will depend upon what is available for you in your local nursery. I suggest that you go to a nursery in your own area with knowledgeable staff who can recommend for you a variety of climbing rose that will thrive in a container.

Additionally, an expert at Canadian Living magazine, Charles Oberdorf, who wrote an article his top 10 hardy rose varieties, ends his article with: “Canadian growers use hardier rootstock. If possible shop in person and choose the healthiest plants. Plant so the graft to the rootstock is at least five centimetres below soil level – not above it, as English and American gardening books recommend.”

That being said, here are some varieties that I found online for container-growing pink climbing roses:

The suggestion of what varieties to grow from the Song of Roses is either Lady of the Lake, the Strawberry Hill, or the Crown Princess Margareta Rose. They say that these three grow very well in pots and are also climbing roses.

The experts at David Austin Roses recommend a small English climbing rose such as Strawberry Hill (Ausrimini), which is a very pretty pink climbing rose. They say that: “English climbers are particularly good, as they produce plentiful stems from the base, which encourages flowering lower down in the large pot.”

The Royal Horticultural Society in England (who really should be the experts on this topic) have chosen as their top variety for a container-friendly climbing rose, Nice Day. But I am not sure whether this is available in Toronto.

If you would like more suggestions, may I suggest that you consult the advice on growing roses and lists of rose varieties offered by the Toronto Master Gardeners.

You may also find this article from the Toronto Master Gardeners on fertilizing and pruning climbing roses useful.

I hope that you find the right variety of climbing rose for your garden and that it gives you great pleasure this summer and for many summers to come.